Fresh iPhone Apps for July 25: Viber update, Alligator at Saw Grass Road, Radia

Jul 25, 2012
Games

Make some free calls and message lots of friends at once with the most recent update to Viber, the over-Internet calling app that lets you contact other Viber users for free. You’ll want to download this update, which adds group messaging, among other features. Also on today’s Fresh Apps list is Alligator at Saw Grass […]

Make some free calls and message lots of friends at once with the most recent update to Viber, the over-Internet calling app that lets you contact other Viber users for free. You’ll want to download this update, which adds group messaging, among other features. Also on today’s Fresh Apps list is Alligator at Saw Grass Road, a storybook app designed for children that will help them to learn to read as well as learn a few things, as all the information about alligators in it comes from the Smithsonian Institute. Finally, Radia will give you a tilt-based diversion as you play through its levels, avoiding deadly saws and collecting light particles.

Viber – Free Phone Calls and Text update (iPhone, iPad) Free

Making calls and sending messages is even easier – and cheaper – thanks to an update to VoIP app Viber. Already, Viber allows users to call each other or send messages for free, using their iOS devices’ data connections rather than over their cellular networks. The result is free phone calls and messages to anyone else who has the app, including both iPhone and Android users.

The update to Viber brings in some new features, chief among them the ability to send group messages to multiple Viber recipients. You can also share photos and links with users through the messaging features, and zap invites to your friends to get them to join Viber’s 90 million other users. Along with the new features, Viber Media has tuned up the app’s alerts to streamline them and keep you from getting bombarded with notifications, while also keeping you apprised of who is contacting you and when.

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Alligator at Saw Grass Road (iPhone, iPad) $1.99

Kids can learn a whole lot about some fierce reptiles in the interactive children’s book Alligator at Saw Grass Road. The app is part of the Smithsonian’s Backyard series, and that means that the information found within it has been vetted for accuracy by the institution. The storybook is designed for children, and so includes three different ways to get its story to a young audience: the “read to me” feature that plays audio and allows kids to follow along, the “read it myself” mode, which is like a traditional book,  and “auto play,” which reads the book and turns the pages.

The story in Alligator at Saw Grass Road follows a mother alligator as she teaches her young how to hunt and stay vigilant for threats. It helps kids learn to read as well as learn about the animals found within it. Words are also automatically highlighted and read aloud when kids tap on them to help with word association, and the app is universal, so it’ll work on any iOS device you have, including the new iPad with its Retina display.

Radia (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Tilt-based arcade title Radia has a pretty minimalist art style, but it’s also an engaging one. You control a ring of light whose goal is to gather up small balls of light called radia that appear around the game screen. Grabbing them advances you to the next stage and you only have a limited amount of time to collect them on each level. The only problem: vicious, bouncing saws that will destroy you if you touch them.

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Each level of Radia gets a little more complex and difficult as you play through it. First, you’ll find yourself combatting obstacles and level layouts that force you to move around in different ways, and before long, Radia will throw requirements at you that have you collecting more radia on each level. Many radia will often appear consecutively, and you’ll have a limited amount of time to collect each one. The game includes three play modes, and has Game Center support so you can track your progress through leaderboards and achievements.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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